The D Train | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The D Train 

When trying to snare a Hollywood star for the high school reunion, things go comically awry

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Dull family man Dan (Jack Black) is working on the committee for his high school reunion, but he's no more popular than when he was a student. Then, watching TV, he sees a former classmate, the popular Oliver Lawless (James Marsden), starring in a sunscreen commercial. If Dan could convince Oliver to come to the reunion, then he'd be the golden boy. So he tells his boss (Jeffrey Tambor) a fib about a business deal in Los Angeles, and flies west to seal the deal. The trip is a success, if one considers having the time of one's life boozing, drugging and carousing Hollywood-style with the most popular guy in your high school class to be success — and Dan sure does! Naturally, it all goes horribly wrong.

This comedy, written and directed by Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul, has a couple of laughs, but strains too hard over some pretty familiar set-ups. Much of the humor relies on Dan not seeing what a giant d-bag Oliver is, which strains credulity. Black is working a less impish version of his dialed-back Bernie role, while Marsden seems to be the guy they got when James Franco didn't sign on. Poor Kathryn Hahn, as Dan's wife, is utterly wasted in a straight-man role, as is the comic premise which winds up not in gleeful darkness or knowing cynicism, but in a make-nice lesson about caring.



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